Ron Howard dropped some Chewbacca-themed bombs on fans today with his video Q&A for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
For one, Chewie (Joonas Suotamo) and Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), do not start out as friends. We will also get the first-ever Chewbacca theme song, from composer John Powell. And Howard himself does a pretty poor version of a Wookiee roar.
Buckle up, baby. Let’s hit the highlights:
“John Williams himself suggested that John Powell would be a great candidate to not only use the classic Star Wars themes, but also the new theme that John Williams himself wrote for Han Solo,” Howard says. “John Powell wrote a lot of great themes, including the first-ever Chewbacca theme.”
Relationship, not friendship
“This is the story of their relationship — it’s not always a friendship,” Howard says. “When they first meet, we’re not sure which way this whole thing could go.”
How does Solo differ?
“You don’t have to know anything about the Star Wars canon or legacy to enjoy the movie,” Howard says. “It’s about this young guy defining himself and his quest for freedom. It’s not about war, and it’s not about politics. These are the adventures that shaped young Han Solo.”
Qi’ra summed up
Howard going over the word limit on Emilia Clarke’s character: “Strong. Intelligent. Ambitious. Complicated. Beautiful. Ugh, dangerous! That’s six. But I don’t want to give away anything.”
The gangster villain
Paul Bettany’s crime lord Dryden Voss is a chief in the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate, which operates in the underbelly of the Empire’s authoritarian rule.
Toughest actor to work with
“Dude, come on,” Howard says, gesturing to Chewbacca on the sofa next to him. “You gotta be so careful what you say to this guy. He’ll rip your arms off.”
The 1968 Steve McQueen crime story Bullitt was one of the inspirations, along with gritty ’70s heist movies.
On Donald Glover’s Lando
“Donald Glover is such an inspired performer and a great guy, who just works so hard,” Howard says. “He had so much respect for Billy Dee Williams and the character of Lando, and what that character meant. … He’s one of those guys everybody enjoyed working with because there is so much respect for his creativity and his spirit.”
On Alden Ehrenreich’s Han
“He’s charismatic. He has a twinkle in his eye. He’s handsome. But he’s an incredibly thoughtful and dedicated actor,” Howard says. “It was a huge responsibility and he took it seriously on behalf of Star Wars and the fans.
Which Star Wars character would Ron Howard choose to be?
“Not you, buddy.”
That’s good, because he doesn’t really have the Wookiee roar down.